In the classic old movie, Crocodile Dundee, Mick brings Sue to Australia and they are camping in the outback. Sue asks, “What’s this place called?” Mick replies, “Belonga Mick.” Sue thinks a moment and then says, “Why ‘Belonga Mick’?” Mick answers, “Well, because I own it, I reckon.”
The ranch is “Belonga Mick” because it belongs to Mick. In a real sense, the word Christian means, “Belonga Christ.” From the moment I placed my trust in Jesus to forgive my sin and sought to make Jesus Lord of my life, my identity is “Belonga Christ.” I belong to Christ. I am His and He is mine!
But here’s the sad thing about my belonging to Christ: I am an ongoing mess of contradictions when it comes to consistently following Jesus. I fully belong to Christ in some areas of my life, and I exert my own broken, fallen will in other areas. I listen deeply to the Holy Spirit when it comes to preparing the message for Sunday morning, and shut Him out when I am in a hurry and the line at the store is taking forever. Instead of radiating kindness and patience in the line at Meijer, I too often radiate impatience. Parts of me are consecrated to Jesus, and parts of me still have a long way to go.
What kind of Christian does that make me? An almost Christian. A Christian in progress. A Christian who “Belonga Christ,” but whose sin nature exerts itself against the love of God in Christ which is “poured out into our hearts.” (Romans 5:5)
We sometimes use descriptors to identify details about what we believe and how we live as followers of Jesus. We call ourselves “conservative evangelical” Christians, or “born-again” Christians, or “Spirit-filled” Christians or other terms.
John Wesley called us to be altogether Christian. Not almost Christian. Not inconsistent Christian. But altogether Christian.
And the difference between almost Christian and altogether Christian, for Wesley and in the New Testament, is the difference of motivation. When the love of Jesus motivates all we do, we will be altogether Christian. When our obedience and religious practices and witness in the world is empowered by the Holy Spirit and driven by God’s love working in our hearts, we are altogether Christian, and not just almost Christian.
And an altogether Christian truly “Belonga Christ!”
The work of filling our hearts with the love of God and transforming our fallen nature to reflect God’s own nature is the work of the Holy Spirit. I can resist that work, or I can welcome it. I can insist on my own way, or commit myself wholly to His way.
I’m seeking a daily, fresh filling of the Holy Spirit that transforms my heart so it beats with one thing only—the love of Jesus Christ. Because more than anything, I want to “Belonga Christ.” Come, Holy Spirit. Do your refining work in my heart and life.